New Swindon (1862)

About six weeks ago the Wesleyans at Wootton Bassett commenced in the friends' houses a midday prayer-meeting, to pray expressly for a Revival of the work of God. We had six to begin with, but the number continually in­creased, so that when Mr Rodway was here, we had even two hundred souls at midday in the chapels; meeting alternately with the Primitive Methodists in their chapel.

Also, five weeks ago, we had special preaching services each evening. For the first week we had nothing parti­cular, but on the following Sabbath several were seeking mercy, and some professed to find Jesus. We continued the services all that week and someone or two were saved every night, and some the week following. On the fourth week we were favoured providentially with the valuable services of brother Rodway, of Stroud. He commenced on Saturday evening with an address to the church, on the importance of work, faith, and prayer.

On Sunday morning a local brother addressed the con­gregations on the operations of the Holy Spirit. In the afternoon Mr Rodway addressed the Sunday schools, Inde­pendents and Wesleyans. In the evening he addressed Christian professors and sinners, and afterwards there were several penitents who retired to the schoolroom, and several were made happy in Jesus. On Monday evening we had a crowded congregation and more found the Lord; the same on Tuesday and Wednesday. On Thursday and Friday evenings, local brothers preached and some each night were made very happy. We have had some most ex­traordinary conversions. Some of the worst of the town have been brought to the Lord, and one most remarkable case of prostration, which created a great sensation in the town, on the Wednesday morning.

Mr R. addressed the children in the British school when a very great interest was excited in the minds of the children. A great many of' the dear little ones have professed to find Jesus. They are having prayer-meetings amongst themselves in the fields and woods about. I met eighty of them last Friday afternoon in our schoolroom for a prayer-meeting when at least twenty of the dear ones prayed and said they were so very happy in Jesus. These prayer-meetings will be continued weekly. During the last six weeks we have had in the Wesleyan society be­tween forty and fifty brought to the Lord and a great number of them young men, who have been champions for Satan, but we trust now will become useful for Jesus. The good work is still going on. We had one of the most notorious drunkards of the place converted last Sunday night, and our friends the Primitives have had several brought to Jesus. It was a most exciting scene when Mr Rodwav left here. Some sixty or seventy young persons went down to the station to see him off and sung that beautiful piece, "Shall we ever all meet again?" &c. I may say the good work is going on nearly all over this Swindon circuit; more than two hundred have professed to find the Lord this last twelve months; seventeen at New Swindon last Sunday night. Praise be unto the Lord. Yours, truly,

H. BEVAN, a local preacher twenty years. From the 'Revival Newspaper', Volume VI, page 159.

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